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  • needhelp!
    09-29 11:21 AM
    And oh.. we already bought a house in 2002 (had never imagined that my status would still be "temporary" after 9 years of doing the right thing)

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  • pitha
    10-01 04:32 PM
    I was thinking of buying a car but I have decided to hold off on it untill the presidentials elections are over. If obama is elected president I will not buy the car and will basically go into 100% saving mode because you never know when Obama\Durbin might kick us out. Nobody knows what sort of draconian rules are going to be put in place for EB community by Obama and Durbin. I have no confidence in Obama\Durbin to show any compassion\fairness towards Eb community. There might be hundreds of thousands of people holding off on purchasing a house, car or any big ticket item because of Obama\Durbin cir and there hostility towards Eb community. Hope I am proven wrong but I have not heard a single positive thing out of obama regarding EB community. Even when he was specifically asked about the green card delays faced by EB community he gave a evasive reply. He is always boasting about support for legal immigartion i.e family based immigration and not eb. I am not a obama hater nor a mcccain supporter but just a worried EB guy worried about his bleak future with Durbin lead cir.

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  • kumar1
    08-06 02:09 PM
    Idiot gave me red too!

    Dude - If you have issues, then fight for 50,000 Green Cards that USA gives away every year through a lottery. Why Indians are not eligible for that? Do you know that more than 80% of green cards are given based on family relations? They get green card just because their relative is a US citizen? Is it fair? Why an Indian/Chinesse graduate from Stanford should wait 6-10 years where someone is getting green card because his distant uncle (They do not remember when they met last time) is a naturalized US citizen? Even worse, fight against those scams where a non immigrant marries a US citizen for just getting green cards. Flight for those who have seen Backlog Reduction/Elimination days.....

    Out of all these causes, you got EB2/EB3 interfile cause? Shame on you! Please stop saying that you are from IIT. I have done B Tech from IIT and I do not remember that system producing garbage like you!

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  • Macaca
    05-16 08:04 AM
    Democrats Under Scrutiny As They Shape Lobbying Bill (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/05/14/AR2007051402086.html) By Elizabeth Williamson (http://projects.washingtonpost.com/staff/email/elizabeth+williamson/) Washington Post Staff Writer, Tuesday, May 15, 2007

    House Democratic leaders yesterday discussed key elements of a long-awaited lobbying reform bill, which has been seen as a signal test of Speaker Nancy Pelosi's pledge to bring unprecedented transparency to the Democratic-led institution.

    While the legislation would open congressional lobbying to greater public scrutiny, its contours hint at a behind-the-scenes battle by the leadership to retain its most sweeping new measures.

    The bill will be unveiled today at a Democratic caucus meeting, where more changes will be discussed. At the meeting last night, party leaders debated the proposal's three most important provisions, which appear headed for varying fates.

    Watchdog groups and freshman members who rode into Congress on promises of ethics reform see as most critical a section imposing stricter reporting guidelines on the practice of "bundling," in which lobbyists gather and deliver bundles of contribution checks to a member. In an effort to prevent opponents of that measure from killing the entire bill, Democrats may address bundling in a separate bill or amendment, to be introduced in tandem with the main legislation.

    The House bill is likely to drop a second key provision, requiring that lobbyists who orchestrate grass-roots letter-writing and telephoning campaigns disclose their involvement.

    The third new element -- a "revolving door" measure doubling, to two years, the time members must wait after leaving Congress before lobbying former colleagues -- is expected to be included in the final bill.

    Other provisions impose disclosure requirements on lobbyist-paid meetings and parties, contributions to charities, and other sponsored activities. Disclosure records would be posted online, in a searchable format.

    The House Judiciary Committee is expected to formally draft the bill Thursday, with a vote anticipated before the Memorial Day recess.

    "I believe that the voters are going to be watching carefully to see whether we address this issue," said Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), sponsor of the bundling measure. "We are letting our members know that this is an important issue for the Democratic agenda. . . . We're very focused on getting this done."

    Sponsors and watchdogs had hoped the House lobbying reform bill would go further than the Senate's version, passed with great fanfare in the opening days of the new Congress. Instead, it appears to closely track the Senate bill, which also did not include restrictions on grass-roots lobbying. In recent weeks, according to several people close to the talks, the Senate had been pushing the House to narrow the bundling restrictions in its version, by limiting reporting requirements to clearly defined fundraising agreements between lobbyists and members. The House bill as discussed would do that.

    Passage of a weaker bill -- chiefly, one without bundling rules -- would disappoint watchdogs, who have waged a lobbying campaign of their own for the new law.

    "I am sensing a fading of enthusiasm for lobbying and ethics reform, which is why we have to get this done as soon as we can," said Craig Holman of advocacy group Public Citizen. "The longer we wait, the weaker this bill seems to get." Holman said he is lining up legislators to introduce, as amendments, any major portions of the lobbying bill eliminated in this week's discussions.

    Democrats' promise to end the "culture of corruption" they said developed in Washington under Republican rule helped propel the party into the majority in November elections. They quickly tightened the rules over travel, meals and gifts from lobbyists, and improved disclosure rules for earmarks -- the pet projects that lawmakers tuck into legislation.

    But a task force appointed by Pelosi (D-Calif.) to look into creating an independent entity to investigate ethics charges against lawmakers has missed its May 1 deadline for issuing recommendations, amid foot-dragging by members opposed to the idea.

    House Democratic Caucus Chairman Rahm Emanuel (Ill.) said the party's leadership considers ethics reform "an obligation."

    "We as a party successfully talked about a culture of corruption, and one of the pledges we made was to change that," he said. To do so, he added, "you've got to change the laws, and people's attitudes."


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  • desi3933
    08-05 03:26 PM
    It is not the Law. It is just a guidance provide in one 2000 Memo by a USCIS director.

    Incorrect. Read for yourself.

    Sec. 204.5 Petitions for employment-based immigrants.



    (e) Retention of section 203(b)(1) (http://www.uscis.gov/propub/template.htm?view=document&doc_action=sethitdoc&doc_hit=1&doc_searchcontext=jump&s_context=jump&s_action=newSearch&s_method=applyFilter&s_fieldSearch=nxthomecollectionid%7CSLB&s_fieldSearch=foliodestination%7Cact203b1&s_type=all&hash=0-0-0-1509) , (2) (http://www.uscis.gov/propub/template.htm?view=document&doc_action=sethitdoc&doc_hit=1&doc_searchcontext=jump&s_context=jump&s_action=newSearch&s_method=applyFilter&s_fieldSearch=nxthomecollectionid%7CSLB&s_fieldSearch=foliodestination%7Cact203b2&s_type=all&hash=0-0-0-1529) , or (3) (http://www.uscis.gov/propub/template.htm?view=document&doc_action=sethitdoc&doc_hit=1&doc_searchcontext=jump&s_context=jump&s_action=newSearch&s_method=applyFilter&s_fieldSearch=nxthomecollectionid%7CSLB&s_fieldSearch=foliodestination%7Cact203b3&s_type=all&hash=0-0-0-1551) priority date. -- A petition approved on behalf of an alien under sections 203(b)(1), (2), or (3) of the Act accords the alien the priority date of the approved petition for any subsequently filed petition for any classification under sections 203(b)(1), (2), or (3) of the Act for which the alien may qualify. In the event that the alien is the beneficiary of multiple petitions under sections 203(b)(1), (2), or (3) of the Act, the alien shall be entitled to the earliest priority date. A petition revoked under sections 204(e) (http://www.uscis.gov/propub/template.htm?view=document&doc_action=sethitdoc&doc_hit=1&doc_searchcontext=jump&s_context=jump&s_action=newSearch&s_method=applyFilter&s_fieldSearch=nxthomecollectionid%7CSLB&s_fieldSearch=foliodestination%7Cact204e&s_type=all&hash=0-0-0-1773) or 205 (http://www.uscis.gov/propub/template.htm?view=document&doc_action=sethitdoc&doc_hit=1&doc_searchcontext=jump&s_context=jump&s_action=newSearch&s_method=applyFilter&s_fieldSearch=nxthomecollectionid%7CSLB&s_fieldSearch=foliodestination%7CACT205&s_type=all&hash=0-0-0-185) of the Act will not confer a priority date, nor will any priority date be established as a result of a denied petition. A priority date is not transferable to another alien.

    US Permanent Resident since 2002

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  • Macaca
    12-30 05:50 PM
    India-China relations today have to evolve in a substantially altered environment. In the current era comprehensive national power is a factor of economic growth and potential. In this China is way ahead of the rest and forging ahead rapidly. The excuse that India�s economic growth story started 13 years later and hence only two decades old and hence catch up with China soon, does not carry conviction. China has in these last three decades gone way ahead of India and the rest of the world. Today, China is four and a half times richer than India and the difference shows. Whether in domestic infrastructure, or international reach and goodwill, or in its ability to project power far from its borders, this lead is impressive. Yet, such asymmetries can be overcome through alliances and partnerships. Possibility of conflict can be reduced through developing interconnectivity and trade and commercial interdependence. In both areas substantive progress has been achieved by New Delhi.

    The real truth is that India has to get its act together, not merely in catching up in GDP growth, but in translating this in to core national power that can impact on the region and the world. Present strategy then has now to be based on consolidating our immediate neighbourhood and developing selective major power relationships that will translate in time to global influence and political strength. This is the real meaning of �balance� in strategic relationships and has to be pursued with great patience and foresight, but with single minded zeal.

    There are serious obstacles along the way. Our strategic culture of not looking beyond the immediate future precludes effective long term planning. Delhi has always defined its strategic interests in vague principles and ideological terms and not through practical achievable time bound objectives. This needs to change.

    Beyond our neighbourhood we have to develop closer ties with major powers such as the US, Australia, Japan and Korea, key democracies with shared values. This will call for a clear break with our past practice of non-alignment and solidarity among the weak. India, as a strong power in its own right, has the responsibility to assume today the leadership of the medium powers and an alignment with the strong.

    Yet, our bilateral relationship with China has to be firmly grounded in a cooperative, constructive and comprehensive relationship. That is again critically important to develop balance, particularly with China, long imbued with the sense of Middle Kingdom. Even as China begins to adjust to a reality of equal and sovereign powers, New Delhi has to exploit openings that may emerge. China�s incursion in to India�s strategic space, should be met not by lamenting over this fact, but through calm and carefully constructed counter measures in China�s periphery.


    Many options may not indeed be feasible at the present time. For example nothing can reduce the utter dependency of Pakistan as a client state of Beijing, to which it has surrendered its sovereignty. But, this does not apply to its other neighbours, such as Myanmar, Nepal or Bangladesh or other Southeast Asian countries.

    This brings us back to the larger issue of bilateral relations between India and China. Lack of knowledge of the �other� breeds mistrust and leads to fear. We need first to bridge the enormous divide and gap in mutual perceptions. This can be brought about mainly by a very much enhanced people to people contact, knowledge of each other�s cultures and history. Not just tourists and visitors, but scholars and young people must enormously increase their contacts in sports, cultural activities and through education in each other�s countries. India needs to match the capabilities of Beijing�s Confucius Centres. There is an enormous amount to learn from each other and without giving up our basic advantages of a more intimate knowledge of the global language, we can continue to enhance our knowledge of each other

    Next is in the areas of trade and commerce. As China�s living standards rise the pay and perquisites of its workers will have to rise in commensurate manner to ensure social stability and its competitive manufacturing advantage will diminish. Instead of Bangladesh, Vietnam and the Philippines benefiting from this development, India is better poised to exploit this advantage. Some simple but fundamental changes to labour laws and ways of doing business in India will have to change and could make all the difference.

    The final factor in achieving a balance is in the area of military capability and deterrence. It is not the most critical issue today to develop a dominance in military capability. For, force today is of diminishing value, except where it serves the purpose of deterring the intention of another to cause you harm. Therefore, an asymmetric but effective deterrence utilizing select capabilities can achieve greater dividends. Such a deterrence potential has to be developed not only in a strategic sense, but also in tactical capabilities. This will have to be in areas of advanced scientific areas; such as in space, under sea warfare capabilities, maritime surface attack, cyber defence and rapidly deployed special forces.

    Indeed, India and China has lived close to each other throughout history, as different civilizations, with distinct identities and simultaneously as leading global powers. Yet, it has no history of either permanent animosity or of conflict. That is a lesson from history that we need to replicate. It may be argued that in the intensely globalizing world and diminishing distance there is today a fundamental difference. Yet, our civilizational experience has also taught us to settle our differences through carefully balancing each other�s concerns and interests and through that process ensuring a peaceful strategic environment in Asia and the world.


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  • senthil1
    05-15 09:11 PM
    No this is not correct. If consultancy companies are not there we could find a permanent job. I do not think if H1b is banned for consulting H1b numbers will be reduced so much. H1b rotation will be reduced. But still TCS, Infosys will survive as they have lot of other options like L1 and B1.But US persons will make more money in consulting as there is no restriction for them. So impact is minimal for US companies and also H1B persons. impact will be severe for bodyshoppers. Also current H1b people will not be impacted as most of them will file I 485 as Skil bill be passed. But H1b abuse will be minimised.

    If consultant companies are not suppose to body shop most of us will be jobless. Please look back how you came to this country in the past.
    Body shopping in not a new concept for H1-B, don't know why they are concered now.

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  • sc3
    08-05 08:29 PM
    see below

    Then check. Context is everything sometimes.

    I checked, everything I said before, I stand by it.

    There was no point, I said I did not believe it. I was showing the original poster that using a large black brush to tar a whole group of people is offensive and inappropriate. At least read my whole post before responding. I see I hit a nerve though. So it's ok for you t claim that EB2 means nothing and is ill gotten but not ok for me to talk about EB3?

    So, I used your black brush to paint over your argument to the argument you claim to resolve. You should expect that, when you try to sling mud on others, you should be ready to get some mud on you too. You cant go complaining when you get the taste of your own medicine.

    Bull crap. Don't make me open my mouth anout labor my friens. best we don't open this up.

    Again you seem to be implying that we are getting our labor for free (or that we dont deserve it)... Can you say why? Agreed there are some (a lot?) who use loopholes etc, but then that is not restricted to EB3s alone.

    I'm not in IT. the more I hear IT folks go at each other, the less I think of the field frankly. And yes, i do not know about you but I met several people who came in the tech boom, whose jobs a monkey could do. Sorry, just the truth.

    I am not in IT either. I am into software research, but IT folks do the work that requires skills. In your home environment, you can slap-on machines and routers etc. and it works because you dont need performance, and because some IT and some developer sat together to bring out a product that was easy to use. In production environment, you need to support 1000s of "consumers". Performance reliability etc. is the key, and it takes a lot skills to manage. I am fairly skilled when it comes to computers, but still I will not match most of the IT folks that work in my company.

    If monkeys could really do the job, and the managers hired humans, probably, the company was being managed by monkeys.


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  • Refugee_New
    01-06 01:07 PM
    Please provide proof(example) to support your allegation that "IV allowed its members to discuss, degrade, humiliate muslims and Islam"

    GCBatman. looks like you are new to this forum. I don't know if you participated in the thread that was created to condemn the mumbai terrorist attack that turned agly at the end.

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  • ns007
    07-08 06:43 PM
    I am of the opinion that what happened in june 2007 actually helped greatly the oversubscribed countries in probably advancing the dates for next fiscal year as many people got approved who probably shouldn't have.

    I agree with you. I am also of the opinion that July Fiasco has actually helped India and China (oversubscribed countries). USCIS might have approved tons of EB2 and EB3 (India and China) applications to use those 60,000 visa numbers. So, India and China might have got a big pie of the 140,000 EB visas.

    With that said I also felt the pain as other members did due to the July bulletin fiasco.


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  • rockstart
    07-15 08:26 AM
    The letter is trying to say either of two things from heart

    1) Employer / DOL/ Lawyers cheated us by filing us under EB3 even though the job posting was well qualified for Eb2.

    2) Employer / DOL/ Lawyers were Naive so ended up filing us under EB3 even though the job posting was well qualified for Eb2.

    So now CIS can compensate us since we are waiting in line for so many years. In old times when the system was so inefficient and now you have cheated us by improving the system and people have sneaked past us? All this might be true but when you are presenting a legal case these things do not stand a chance of being accepted.

    The right way will be to remove all references to Eb2 accept the fact that you consented to be in Eb3 so you should take all the pro's and con's associated with it. After that we can all write letters to CIS and all others under guidance of IV higlighting the endless waits and how visa recapture will help this mess. Dont make comparisons with Eb2 to justify your case because it isnt right and if you feel it is right then why just Eb2 why not EB1 after all they get GC in 1-2 years flat.

    I would like to first applaud Pani for this effort. I strongly support his initative. I think his letter is original and from his heart. It is more authentic and human than what some on this forum are suggesting here. I think his gut feeling on this one is more important than the calculated steps IV has been taking so far.
    These kind of authentic letters from members like pani would give IV a more strong foundation to focus their energy. I think all those who want to write letters to the President, Senator, Congressmen, USCIS, DOL, DOS, DOJ, etc should do so and also should write the letter on their own instead of copying one. The reasons, sentiments and purpose will add more flavour to the whole thing. I would go one step further to suggest that some should write the letter in Spanish, French, Mandarin, Hindi, Urdu, etc, etc, if they think that they can express themselves better in their own language.
    Pani once again I would like to say that you are doing the right thing.

    PS: When the ship is sinking everyone wants to escape but the one who is aggresive to save himself has more chance of living than the other who is waiting for someone to save him.

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  • unitednations
    07-09 11:06 AM
    I read these desperate cases where a whole lot of IV'ers try to help with their best understanding of Immigration Law. Including veterans like UN and others who have been through hoops, successes and failures in assesing a particular case.

    My personal understanding is that NO 2 two cases are identical for USCIS and there is a term "Officer Discretion" which comes into play a lot. This Discretion is more positive to the applicant when a case is prepared prefessionaly and a little negative when done without care.

    Also even though the individual affected tries to provide the information to get the best solution does not mean he/she has provided 100% information based on facts of the case. There could be something missed out easily just because that does not ring the bell for the person submitting the information or simply because the information is too private and not appropriate on a public forum.

    My point is these forums are not meant for a realistic solution to a complicated issue like the one on this thread. Please get a good attorney and that does not only mean Murthy or Khanna. There are tons of attorneys available both good and competent and affordable and who may have a solution which appeals USCIS officer.

    Best of Luck.

    This is very correct. Usually; when people post an issue they are only giving 20% of the story and there are more twists and turns that they are not disclosing and in our over zealousness to advise/post; we go through various scenarios.

    In my experience; uscis does not by default give a person a tough time. However; if there is a history (ie., denials); then they seem to go a little further into it.

    In my own case; when I had to go to local office interview; the list of documents that the officer asked for me was pretty extensive and basically outside the law. However; he still asked for those things (ie., tax returns; w2's from 1999 through 2006 (as an example)); He was really reaching in what he asked for. If I didn't have these things; then there is a possibility that a person may fake some of these things and then uscis tries to trap you. However; 245k; ead, etc.; future job offer has a lot of protections for us. It's never good to fake things; especially when most of the time it isn't necessary.


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  • another one
    12-17 04:03 PM
    I agree with you ..Antulay is complete filth.

    But you are just another attention seeker wasting my money by using up the storage space in this forum. Let me predict what you are going to do ... half the posts on this thread will be yours ..mostly picking up a piss contest with anyone posting here. Below is a link to a constructive channel many have used. See you there..


    This is exactly I hate. To divert focus of terrorism to Hindu group, Muslim leader comes out - WOW!

    Sounds like LeT informed Hindu group in advance that they are going to attack so as a by-product they can kill Karkare. Ha ha ha.

    Times Of India Headline: Antulay raises doubts over Karkare's killing

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  • SunnySurya
    08-05 03:17 PM
    Don't remember exactly, I can look into the wording of the law but I think
    post bachelor 5 year experience for EB2 is a law and not Memo.
    Wondering whether the post bachelor 5 year experience for EB2 was also a memo. If so when was that memo written - before or after the Yates 2000 memo?


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  • Alabaman
    08-13 08:11 AM
    ... nonetheless, we should all contact CNN or even his show to make a point.. I'll try to fill out his form. I can't believe how CNN has degenerated itself to today's standings..

    better still, we should contact Fox news... they would be glad to talk about this and CNN would then have to respond ;)

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  • alien2006
    05-24 10:05 AM
    He is just using this to play illegals vs legals. If you watch his lousy program, he is constantly ranting that this CIR bill will increase immigration by 100 million plus in the next few years. Some time back he also said that the CIR is a covert operation to increase H1Bs and legal immigration, not just about illegal immigrants. You can tune out what Lou says, he's doing what he can to improve his ratings.


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  • VSS2007
    07-13 12:28 AM
    Really Good Work!!!

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  • srr_2007
    04-07 12:17 AM
    My understanding H1 B employers (mostly desi companies) are root cause of this situation by abusing H1 b program, they have made enough money by sucking H1 employees blood, now hey are equally affected it is time for them to share some of it and fund all the efforts to curb these kind of Bills.

    Please forward the text of this bill to all your employers and ask them to join hands with IV.

    Desi consulting comapanies will not be affected. Consider this, if this bill becomes you can't transfer Visa and stick to the same employer. They can pay whatever they feel like paying (may be $7 per hr) and abuse the way they want. we will continue to extend the Visa and work as slaves thinking that this will get over one day like the Green card mess.

    They will earn more with less people and buy all the new model cars and houses everywhere in US.

    This is our problem and we have to fight for our good.

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  • gimme_GC2006
    03-25 06:28 PM
    Sometimes you listen to your heart and take a decision
    Sometimes you listen to your brain and take a decision.

    I believe this situation should warrant you to listen to your brain and hire a good attorney.
    Dont go by your hunch (or heart). Again a friendly advice because there is just too much at stake.

    Good luck no matter what you decide.

    The more and more I visit this thread, I am feeling I should have went with Attorney.

    So I will stay away until I further hear from AO :confused:

    Thanks to all of you who wished me

    04-08 07:18 PM
    Look what really does not make sense about the "Consulting company" portion is that management consulting companies like BCG, Mckenzie or the Big 4 consulting firms have a business model where they "outsource" employees for projects to other companies. So, as it stands, these companies will not be able to hire anyone from top business schools. And we are not talking about desi consulting companies here (no pun intended).

    Again, this bill embodies the basic principle that displaces US workers do not want to understand:
    "What is good for the economy may not be good for an individual".

    And I say that because I have been myself displaces 2 times in my life, and every time, I have fallen (or stumbled), I have walked an extra mile to get a better life.

    I just feel sorry for people like me and many others who came to this country with a different mindset and now find themselves in the midst of the worst anti-immigrant clime that has existed in a long time.

    That said, I feel obligated to remind everyone - "Do yourself a favor and do everything within your means to make a meaningful change, self-help is the best help you will get"

    - Raj

    What about professional services? Like IBM global services, Oracle consulting etc.... all these companies thrive on after sales customization and support based on professional services contract and there are thousands of h1b visa holders doing professional services. It is also outsourcing of a employee to a client implementing their system. Look at SAP, Siebel consultants, they are outsourced at client places for years together to finish implementations and their work locations are changed based on client's needs from time to time in between jobs - this is again a huge pool of H1bs.
    I used to work fulltime for a company in their professional services group and travelled on the job to a lot of places. The company thrives on h1b resources for their high pressured jobs and they always bring in people from outside the country to do their jobs.

    I think outsourcing employees to a different location is a part and parcel of H1b, and this bill is nailing exactly on that. It is aimed solely to purge out H1bs from the country.

    So all said and done, we may now go down based on a racially motivated bill. I am not sure what it takes to educate the law makers, I would like to see the senior personnel at IV and more analysts to look into what can be done on this bill.

    08-07 07:38 PM
    Tougher Rules Change Game for Lobbyists (http://www.nytimes.com/2007/08/07/washington/07lobby.html?_r=1&oref=slogin) By DAVID D. KIRKPATRICK New York Times, August 7, 2007

    WASHINGTON, Aug. 6 � H. Stewart Van Scoyoc, founder of one of the biggest lobbying firms in Washington, spent an anxious morning with his lawyer last week assessing the far-reaching ethics and lobbying rules Congress had passed the day before.

    The first worry was what lobbyists are calling the new �temptation rules.� Not only do they bar lawmakers and aides from accepting any gifts, meals or trips from lobbyists, they also impose penalties up to $200,000 and five years in prison on any lobbyist who provides such freebies.

    And worse still for Mr. Van Scoyoc, under the new law he is required to certify each quarter that none of the 50 lobbyists in his firm bought so much as a burger or cigar for someone on a lawmaker�s staff.

    �You are basically asking people to certify, with big penalties, that nobody has lied on their expense accounts,� Mr. Van Scoyoc said, marveling at the complexity of policing such casual contact between lobbyists and Congressional aides. �These are people who are sharing apartments together, playing on the same softball teams, each other�young people with active social lives.�

    The new law has quickly sent a ripple of fear through K Street. It comes amid signs that federal prosecutors are taking a newly aggressive approach to corruption cases � including treating campaign contributions as potential bribes.

    By requiring them to certify the good behavior of their employees, the law puts lobbyists at new legal risk and could subject them to new pressure from prosecutors. And new centralized disclosures of lobbyists� campaign contributions, fund-raising activities and even their achievements � in the form of Congressional earmarks in spending bills � make it only easier for federal investigators to paint unflattering portraits of lobbyists� influence.

    �It will be easier to connect dots,� said Ted Van Der Meid, a Washington lawyer who was counsel to Representative J. Dennis Hastert when he was House speaker. �Even if there shouldn�t be a connection, you are going to have to explain to them how the way they connected the dots is not what you intended. You are going to have to basically prove your innocence.�

    Stanley Brand, a longtime Washington defense lawyer who usually represents Democrats, said the law was a sea change. �It should send shivers down lobbyists� spines,� Mr. Brand said. �It is a minefield now.�

    These are hardly the first restrictions, of course. Internal rules already barred lawmakers or senior staff members from accepting a gift or a meal worth more than $50 from a lobbyist. But the rules were rarely, if ever, enforced and did not govern lobbyists.

    President Bush has not said whether he would sign the bill, but it is already changing the culture of Capitol Hill in myriad ways, beginning with more Dutch treats and fewer steak dinners.

    Lobbying firms are racing to train employees in the new rules. One firm, fearful that prosecutors might try to use the expanded disclosures to link official actions to campaign contributions, has sent letters to its clients advising them how to respond if a lawmaker brings up fund-raising in a conversation about policy or procurements. �We would love to have this conversation, but it would have to be at another time� is the short answer.

    One lobbyist, who would speak only anonymously to avoid attracting the attention of prosecutors or rivals, said he had started sending himself date-stamped e-mail to create a record of every phone conversation he had with a lawmaker. Then he stopped making campaign contributions.

    Another lobbyist recently scaled back the menu at a breakfast briefing for lawmakers, offering bagels and cream cheese instead of ham and eggs. The rules permit lobbyists to provide refreshment of �only nominal value.� The House ethics committee guidelines suggest �light appetizers and drinks, or soda and cookies,� a standard that is known as �the toothpick test.�

    The firm also advised a client distributing flashlights on Capitol Hill � to promote government openness � to make sure not only that they cost less than $10 each but also that they looked cheap, to avoid the appearance of impropriety.

    And the �staff briefing� � in which a lobbyist enticed Congressional staff members to hear a talk about some dry legislative concern by offering pizza � has become extinct. No one will come without the free food.

    Lobbyists complain that Congress is unfairly punishing them for the misdeeds of its own members, not to mention ruining the social lives of innocent and underpaid staff members.

    �All those people who grew up in the system � who aren�t evil-doers, just good people � used to be able to entertain and have fun,� lamented Jim Ervin, a veteran military industry lobbyist.

    Jan Baran, a longtime Republican lawyer whose clients include lobbyists, said: �There is a great deal of resentment. It�s �the devil made me do it,� and the devil this time happens to be lobbyists. They get tarred with corruption, and the next day they get mail from all the same lawmakers who are blaming lobbyists saying, �I have a fund-raiser next week � don�t forget to contribute!� �

    Many lobbyists say the rules pose dilemmas. Blocking them from buying dinners or trips for lawmakers, lobbyists say, will only force them to spend more time and money at political fund-raisers to get the same access.

    For lawmakers, one of the most contentious elements of the package is the requirement that candidates disclose the names of federally registered lobbyists who solicit and �bundle� contributions. But lobbyists say the recognition may only encourage them to bundle. Ties to lawmakers are calling cards for clients.

    �That is not going to be viewed as the mark of Cain or anything,� Lawrence O�Brien III, a Democratic lobbyist and fund-raiser, said dryly. �It could be perceived as bragging rights.�

    Other lobbyists, though, worry that prosecutors� new tactics could make fund-raising more perilous. In plea agreements involving the lobbyist Jack Abramoff and former Representative Randall Cunningham, prosecutors have treated certain campaign contributions as bribes for official favors, something almost never done before.

    For lobbyists � who live at the nexus of contributions and favors � it is an alarming trend. �They might as well just pull up the paddy wagon outside the Capital Grille,� one lobbyist said, referring to a clubby steakhouse near the Capitol that is a well-known K Street hangout.

    Between the ban on buying dinners and the scrutiny of fund-raising, �It is a lose-lose situation,� said James Dyer, a lobbyist at Clark & Weinstock.

    A self-described �earmarks guy� who specializes in spending items, Mr. Dyer said the new rules were an invitation to scandal hunters. For the first time, the law will require disclosure of both the lawmakers who sponsor such items and the campaign contributions of the lobbyists who seek them.

    �It is a road map that says, �Hey, come look at me; I have got my name against an earmark,� � he said.

    Some loopholes exist. At the annual Aerospace Industries Association trade show in Paris last month, for example, military contractors treated a gaggle of senators to luxurious receptions at galleries, parks and hotels � all permitted under an exception for �widely attended events.�

    But John W. Douglass, the group�s president, said the new rules were putting a damper on such events. �Who wants to go to a hot, crowded cocktail party,� Mr. Douglass said, �and have to worry every time the guy brings the hors d�oeuvres tray up, �Should I do this or not?� �

    Still, some lobbyists and lawyers wondered privately how long the new carefulness would last.

    At the Capital Grille the evening after final passage of the new lobbying bill, private wine lockers by the door still bore the names of several prominent lobbyists. Two mounted stag heads were the only sentries policing the dimly lit bar. Shaking a Belvedere Vodka martini for a lone defense contractor, a bartender leaned in to offer his thoughts.

    �What happens at the Capital Grille,� the bartender said, �stays at the Capital Grille.�

    Fundraisers Tap Those Who Can't Say No (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/08/06/AR2007080601403.html) 'Bundlers' Look to Associates, Employees for Campaign Cash By Matthew Mosk Washington Post Staff Writer, August 7, 2007
    Draining the 'Swamp' Is Not So Easy (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/08/06/AR2007080601298.html) Skeptics Question Bite of Ethics Rules By Elizabeth Williamson Washington Post Staff Writer, August 7, 2007

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